We all know the feeling. You pull your card from your wallet and wince, just slightly, as you hand it to the cashier. Some quick mental math says you should be fine. Should be.
But there’s just a hint of doubt that’s making you squirm. You don’t want to pay an overdraft fee, and there’s a small chance that your paycheck hasn’t hit your bank account. As if on cue, that familiar nagging thought surfaces—the one you’ve been avoiding: “I need to start budgeting.”
Ugh. It’s the same thought that pops into your head when you pay bills, or when you splurge on an extra pricey new gadget. And it’s zero fun.
Ready to try something new?
What If You Didn’t Have to Worry About Money?
In other words, what if you tried budgeting? Before you roll your eyes, hear me out.
A budget is about so much more than avoiding overdraft fees. Once you know how much money you’ve got (and how you spend), you can design a life that makes you feel more than just informed—you’ll feel free, in control, inspired … happier. Yes, really!
Budgeting Makes You Happier.
If you did a double-take at that last sentence, you’re not alone. It might be hard to believe that budgeting contributes to happiness. In fact, many would-be budgeters never even get started because they’re intimidated by:
- Seeing how much money they really spend
- Managing the ebb and flow of large, less frequent expenses (like holiday spending)
- Finding a way to save more (especially when money already feels tight)
- Coming to terms with their credit card balance(s)
- The thought of giving up things they enjoy
These are totally understandable fears, but consider this: If there was a giant, muscular, spider in your room, wouldn’t you rather have the light on? When you know where he’s dangling from, you can make more informed choices. In the dark, your anxiety goes up (and you’re kind of scared to move).
The Same Is True for Managing Money.
If you’re in the dark, figuratively speaking, it’s hard to say whether or not you should book that weekend getaway or get your car repaired. Turning on the lights (budgeting), might be uncomfortable at first, but it isn’t a punishment. It’s empowerment …
A budget doesn’t tell you how to live your life—it’s a tool that
you control to build a life that makes you happy.
YNABers tell us all the time how much happier they are, now that they’re on a budget. Their anxiety goes way down, their peace of mind goes way up, and they’re suddenly aware of so many possibilities that they’d never noticed before.
And you don’t need much to begin. Our advice is simple (and, yeah, super clichéd) … just start where you are. You can learn the basics here or, if you like more detailed tutorials, check out this excellent post.
This Could Be You!
Imagine this: you pull your debit card from your wallet and smile as you hand it to the cashier. You budgeted for this, and you’re excited about your purchase. You’re not worried about an overdraft fee—you’re a budgeter!
And these days? You can pay all of your monthly bills in five minutes flat—and you pay them early. You don’t break a sweat when an unexpected expense crosses your path. You feel secure, and you’ve begun to think about what’s next.
Maybe it’ll be a fancy vacation or a move to a nicer neighborhood. Whatever you want, now you have a plan, and it’s custom-made to help you win. [The crowd roars!]